“Everytime I look at myself in the mirror I can’t believe how awesome I am”. Anyone who has heard that phrase before and laughed can stop reading this review and go download Strong Bad’s first major videogame release. Those who aren’t familiar with the Homestar Runner universe should read on to see if they would enjoy Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People: Season 1 Episode 1 Homestar Ruiner, otherwise known as SBCGFAP:S1E1HR.
Homestar Ruiner is the first episode of a point and click adventure game made by Telltale games. They are the same people who brought us Sam and Max Season 1 and 2. Homestar Ruiner is set in the Homestar Runner universe made popular by www.homestarrunner.com and it features an all new story penned by the Chapman Brothers (they created and continue to write the Homestar Runner Universe).
This review features the PC version, but Telltale also made a Wii Ware version which Telltale promises is nearly identical.
My review PC Specs are:
- Windows XP SP3
- AMD Athlon 4200 X2
- Nvidia Geforece 8800GT
- 2 Gigs of DDR
I have to give Homestar Ruiner’s graphics some credit, the game looks almost exactly like the internet cartoon. All of the characters look just like their online versions and the animations for each are all taken straight from the website. There have been some graphical improvements made for the game. Strong Bad will be able to move about freely in each environment. The environment feature a foreground and backgrounds that Strong Bad can move about in, so the game isn’t strictly presented in a flat cartoon style.
Featured throughout the game are several mini games that have varying styles of graphics. Many of them use old Atari 2600 style visuals and are an homage to Atari games. While one could hardly consider those games to have “great” visuals, they don’t have to have great graphics, as they are faithful to their source material.
As one could imagine I had absolutely no trouble playing the game on my PC as it has more than enough horsepower to run the game. Unlike the Wii version, the PC version does features scalable graphics so the PC version should look sharper than its console counterpart. Homestar Ruiner also features widescreen support.
All of the series regular voice actors are present in SBCGFAP:S1E1HR and do a fine job reprising their roles as the assortment of oddball characters. If you have heard any cartoon on the Homestar Runner website then you will know what to expect.
The one complaint I have about the sound is that some of the dialogue comes through distorted. It’s not so bad that you can’t hear the dialogue, it just sounds like the voices either weren’t recorded as well as they could have been or they were tranferred poorly. By no means is it a deal breaker, but it was annoying at times.
This is a point and click adventure, thus throughout most of the game you will only need the mouse pointer and the left mouse button to play the game. You control Strong Bad by pointing where you want him to go on the screen and then clicking there.
The mini games all feature varied controls, but most of them are simple and require the use of the arrow keys along with one or two other keys.
Overall the controls work well and aren’t distracting.
Homestar Ruiner is a point and click adventure, so anyone who has ever played Sam and Max, Escape From Monkey Island or any other comedic adventure game should know what to expect. The game begins with Strong Bad responding to one of his emails which prompts him to go and pummel Homestar. From there Strong Bad discovers that Homestar has entered a race that Strongbad is not allowed to enter. To add insult to injury he discovers that Marzipan is planning a party for Homestar and she isn’t inviting Strong Bad. So Strong Bad’s obvious mission in the game is to enter the race and embarrass Homestar by “Totally Ruinating Him”.
Aside from the main adventure game Homestar Ruiner features several mini games ranging from a simple Atari Fashion boxing game to the infamous Tragdor mini game. There is also a create your own Teen Girl Squad comic mini game that allows you to choose which props each Girl will use throughout each comic and then you get to watch what happens. All Teen Girl Squad Fans will love this feature.
In addition to the main storyline and the mini games there are also several hidden collectibles that you will be able to search for throughout the game. There is also a photo booth that will allow you to change Strong Bad’s outfit and then have him pose in front of different backgrounds. You can then take pictures of Strong Bad’s “Awesomeness” in game and email them to your friends.
Perhaps the best part about the game is that you can finally explore the Homestar Runner “Town” and its various locations. Fans will be able to visit Strongbad’s home, Marzipan’s house, Bubs’ Concession Stand and other popular Strong Bad locations.You can download the game directly from Telltale Games’ website for $8.95. In addition, you can order the entire season of five episodes for $34.95. The first episode will take veteran adventure gamers about an hour and a half to finish the main storyline. However, many gamers will find a couple more hours of fun if you search for all of the collectibles, explore all of the interactive elements of the game and play the mini games. The $34.95 collection is a no brainer for Homestar Runner fans and the game is definately worth a spin at $8.95 for people new to the Homestar Runner universe.